Royal Seal Approval For Contemporary Rose Garden

Queen opens Wilson McWilliam Associates designed garden

Her Majesty The Queen visits Wilson McWilliam Associates designed Rose Garden, Windsor Great Park

Chiswick Newly Weds Torn Apart by Bureaucratic Sloth

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Chiswick based landscape architects and garden designers Wilson McWilliam Associates have designed the contemporary new Rose Garden for The Crown Estate, Windsor Great Park

The new Rose Garden was opened by Her Majesty The Queen who enjoyed a tour of the garden with Head of The Savill Garden Harvey Stephens.

The Crown Estate commissioned leading garden designers Wilson McWilliam Associates to create the Garden. From an initial concept and outline design by Andrew Wilson, he and Gavin McWilliam developed the scheme to include the specification of materials and construction details.

Andrew Wilson said, “The Crown Estate asked for an iconic and innovative design, something memorable to visitors. The connection to memory made us consider perfume – an essential quality in many roses. Perfumes and scents will often trigger an instant memory recall and we started to consider how this might affect visitors.

"The concept of intensity began to develop with the idea that perfumes and colours could be concentrated towards the centre of the Garden. The concept of a walkway rising above the Garden allowed this to be seen and experienced to perhaps the greatest advantage. The idea of standing above a mass of rose colour with the perfume rising in the warm air took shape.”

He continued, “The shape of the walkway responds to the shaping of the entire garden which, coincidentally, developed a rose flower form. The curves and interlocking crescents come from the concept of journeying towards the centre of the garden. The idea is that the various colour beds interlock but appear to move as one walks around the garden. This will produce a wide range of complex colour interactions. The walkway rises above and curves back to centre on the main view to The Golden Jubilee Garden revealing the roses from above. The second main path drops down into the centre of the Garden through the roses. One idea is that people compare their respective views and experiences but will not be able to move directly between the two. We see it as a sort of dance with the roses with people graduating towards the centre.”

Work commenced on the new Rose Garden in August 2009, with the clearance of the old rose beds and re-landscaping for the new design in an expanded area of 60m x 60m. The famous and striking wisteria and the historic alpine beds have been retained. The latter refurbished and replanted to reflect their original appearance. The planting of 2,500 roses consisting of 28 varieties began in March 2010.

The roses have been selected by Harvey Stephens, Head of The Savill Garden, on the basis of perfume, colour, repeat flowering and vigour and are being used purely for ornamental effect. The Rose Garden’s curves and interlocking crescents create a journey towards the centre of the Garden, emphasised by the way in which the roses have been planted. The palette of colours radiate out from an intense centre of deep plum purple through soft pinks fading to white and subtle apricots to tangerine orange where the Garden meets the vibrant herbaceous borders. The use of repeat flowering roses means that the Garden will look splendid from mid-June through to September.

Movement is intrinsic to the design of the Rose Garden. The paths circulate around the visitor leading to the centre of the Garden with many different views. Once in the centre, the eye is thrown out to the fringes of the Garden by the use of colour, shape and grasses.

The grasses - miscanthus and molinia - have been planted in the rose beds and on the landscaped spurs of the Garden. The use of grasses among the roses adds an intriguing dynamic to the Garden; their form and height changing through the summer. Appearing gradually their foliage will emerge as the season progresses and they will assume a more prominent role as their flowers expand and take the Garden into the autumn just as the roses fade. On the spurs the mass planting of molinia is designed to ‘throw’ the garden into the surrounding area and the contrast between close mown turf and the airy grass flowers will create a striking ornamental effect in its own right.

Newly wed Gavin was in the news earlier this week when he spoke about the 'Kafkaesque' nightmare that is currently forcing him and his wife Gretchen to spend the first months of their married life on opposite sides of the planet.

June 18, 2010